He’s a fictional character, Mo. Invented by CS Lewis.


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Discussion (25)¬

  1. I guess Mo thinks “fallacy” means “excellent way to argue.”

  2. Jim Baerg says:

    An example I ran across:
    I recall a Anthropogenic Global Warming Denialist starting his argument by talking about how people who say AGW is real would have financial motives for doing so, rather than trying to show that their arguments are flawed.

    Once I find that the proponents of one side of an argument use made up ‘facts’ or logical fallacies in all or most of their arguments, I have *some* interest in why they are lying, but mostly I am just interested in finding out the facts & demonstrating to others that that side is dishonest without worrying about *why* they are dishonest.

  3. Rrr says:

    So why would you do that, Jim Baerg?

  4. jb says:

    Mildly ironic (and I’m sure this was not lost on Author) is the fact that “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis to defend Christianity against the bad arguments of unbelievers. In fact I think this is the way it has most often been used, although of course it cuts equally well the other way.

    Also, I was a bit disappointed to learn that Ezekiel Bulver never existed, other than in the origin story of his eponymous fallacy. I assumed he would at least be a fictional character, like Sinclair Lewis’s George Babbitt, whose behavior gives us the word “Babbittry”. Inventing someone from scratch just to supply a name seems a bit lazy.

  5. Very relevant. I hadn’t had a name for this very popular fallacy. Thanks!

  6. Donn says:

    Well … it isn’t an altogether uninteresting question, what motives a person might have for taking a certain position. I always thought it was kind of humorous that AGW denialists take that approach, though. I mean, ever heard anything to make you think there might be some money in fossil fuels?

  7. Oozoid says:

    I seem to encounter Bulverism more and more these days – alas, mostly from those I previously considered ‘enlightened’! I have regarded it as ad hominem. Is there a difference between AH and Bulverism?

  8. Oozoid says:

    Is labelling as ‘denialist’ someone who is sceptical about your point of view an example of Bulverism?

  9. Don Kemp says:

    The weekly comics are not opening (2 in a row now) in Chrome. They won’t open in Microsoft Edge either. Any suggestions?

  10. Eric Meyer says:

    I’ve been seeing CloudFlare 522 errors for various assets, from pages (rarely) to images (fairly often) including the comics themselves. From the error page I get:

    “What happened?

    The initial connection between Cloudflare’s network and the origin web server timed out. As a result, the web page can not be displayed.

    If you’re the owner of this website:

    Contact your hosting provider letting them know your web server is not completing requests. An Error 522 means that the request was able to connect to your web server, but that the request didn’t finish. The most likely cause is that something on your server is hogging resources. Additional troubleshooting information here.”

    My outside guess, which could easily be wrong, is that some assets aren’t getting from the hosting server to the CloudFlare caches for some reason, and attempts to do so time out due to whatever is preventing the transfer. That’s pretty much the end of my usefulness, though.

  11. Son of Glenner says:

    Last week’s strip (tendency) comes up sometimes, and with long delays and error messages, but the comments shown always stop at 15. I know there were comments after that, including one of mine, but they seem to be completely deleted.

    I was only able to find this week’s strip by backpedalling a few weeks then hitting “last”, when this strip appeared more or less as usual, complete with 11 comments.

    Good strip by the way (as usual!). Bulverism is news to me. I have not read much C S Lewis apart from the Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy.

  12. jb says:

    It’s all orange again.

  13. Caliban27 says:

    Oozoid, I had a similar thought, but then considered that an ad hominem attack is the most likely means by which the Bulverist claims that the opponent is wrong.

  14. Max T Furr says:

    One of your very best, Author. I could not resist sharing it on my Facebook newsfeed.

  15. Son of Glenner says:

    Last strip (tendency) appeared no bother, complete with 38 comments. Then easy to segue to this week’s strip (Bulver) with 16 comments up to this afternoon.

    Fingers crossed, touch wood and glass raised that it is all now sorted!

    (Tempting Providence!)

  16. Son of Glenner says:

    Richard Dawkins has said that he will not debate with a YE creationist, as that would imply that YE creationism could be taken seriously.

    Is that Bulverism? Or just common sense?

  17. Jim Baerg says:

    I think the term denialist should be used *after* that position has been shown to be based on made up ‘facts’ & logical fallacies.

    Btw When I tried to post a few hours ago I got this message:
    This server could not prove that it is http://www.jesusandmo.net; its security certificate is from *.nfshost.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration or an attacker intercepting your connection.

  18. Donn says:

    [Mainly just to exercise the posting feature …] For my understanding of the term, Dawkins would have to take a position like “you’re clinging to this absurd belief only because you must believe everything in the Christian bible.”

    The thing is, it’s quite true, and as long as the absurdity of the belief is well known, it would be a well taken point. When confronted with any apparent nonsense like that, we could reasonably ask ourselves, “wait … did you get that from the Christian bible?”, and save ourselves some effort.

  19. suffolk blue says:

    Well, you would say that, wouldn’t you … 🙂

  20. Deimos says:

    I am also having trouble accessing the site but being an ex-security bod I suspected foul play.

    So for the first time in years I turned on my old security dashboard of doom and checked out this site.

    Would you believe this site is the subject of a “distributed denial of service” attack ? The dashboard also says the site has been named multiple times on “unhealthy” sites connected with the many followers of mo.

    So well done author, your work is clearly reaching a large audience. Keep up the good work Sir.
    PS my security tools are all made in Israel and can be subscribed to for a most reasonable fee but access is invitation only. I paid for lifetime access when I retired and my job stopped paying the bill.

  21. Son of Glenner says:

    But can Deimos and his “security dashboard of doom” block all those “distributed denials of service” and restore normal service to the J&M strip so that it can continue to annoy “the many followers of Mo”?

  22. Author says:

    That’s interesting, Deimos. J&M is constantly under attack, and it is blocked in several countries. I’m interested in this security dashboard of yours. Could you get me an invite?

    I think the problems have been solved now – it may just take a while for everything to settle down again.

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    I hope Deimos will be able to arrange an invitation for Author. Whether or not the cost of a subscription is “most reasonable” is a matter of opinion and Author may consider it exorbitant rather than reasonable! I may be able to chip in with a small contribution if necessary and I’m sure some of the rest of you regulars in the old Cock & Bull pub will be willing to do the same.

  24. M27Holts says:

    Isn’t Bulverism a euphemism for a nagging wife/husband/partner….


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